Here is another installment of AFV news from around the web. Click on the title to go to the full article.
At the Land Forces conference in Adelaide, Australia, earlier this month, a development in military tech was presented that brings auto-camouflaging tanks a step closer to reality. To find out more about the technology behind the idea, we asked Peter Murphy from the University of South Australia, who was involved in the research, a single question as part of our regular One Big Question series: What goes into making a color-changing military tank? The concept of color-changing tanks, able to change their camouflage pattern in real time in the battlefield to adapt to changing surroundings, is one of the holy grails of modern military deception. Even in the modern theatre of war, preventing initial detection by the human eye is the primary goal in deceiving the enemy.
ANKARA — In 2008, a privately owned Turkish armored vehicles producer, Otokar, signed a $500 million contract with Turkey’s procurement office, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) for the development of four prototypes that would become the country’s first indigenous, new-generation main battle tank. Both procurement officials and the industry viewed Otokar as the “natural contractor” for the serial production order that would follow the development deal. But things have taken a different turn since then.
Ankara’s tanks have been in the news a lot this year, whether prowling the streets of the Turkish capital in a failed coup attempt, or taking missile fire from rebel fighters on the Syrian border. Recently, Turkish armor crossed over into Syria and drove the Islamic State terrorist group from its last holdings along the Turkish border — and also fought with U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels, creating a frustrating diplomatic quandary for the White House. It’s easy to see why Turkey’s tanks are so active. The country is facing one of its worst geopolitical crises in decades, and it also maintains an enormous tank force — more than 2,400 all told, greater than the tank forces of France, Germany and the United Kingdom combined.
The National Interest – Ukraine’s Tough T-84 Oplot-M Tank Won’t Fight Russia (And Is Being Sold to Thailand?)
Tank warfare is periodically declared obsolete in the face of the latest portable anti-tank weapons and the difficulty of transporting heavy vehicles to the battlefront. Just don’t tell that to Ukraine. The intervention of Russian tanks in August 2014 into Kiev’s conflict with separatists in Eastern Ukraine reversed what was looking like an eventual government victory into a disastrous route. In January 2015, an assault by over 30 Russian tanks defeated defending Ukrainian armor and brought an end to the months-long siege of Donetsk International Airport.
Zaslonava in Vitsebsk Region is home to the 19th Guards Mechanised Brigade of the Belarusian Army, and local people have sent photos and video to the Tut.By news portal showing how tanks drive over pavements and churn up the grassy areas between blocks of flats. “Military hardware rumbles past our houses constantly, even at night. It could be one tank, it could be a whole column,” pensioner Vasil Zhernosek told the site. “The route through the village is a short cut for them to get from one tank park to another, but what about us?” Above all, he says local people are worried about their children, as the tanks pass within 150m (about 500ft) of a school. A video from the village shows a tank driving over a set of car tyres near the school before heading off across an already-damaged expanse of grass.
The National Interest – China’s Deadly Type 99 Tank vs. Russia’s T-90 and America’s M-1 Abrams: Who Wins?
China has a lot of tanks. Like, eight to nine thousand of them. Who else would bother to maintain such a ridiculous number? The United States. And Russia. (Note that such counts include vehicles in storage and reserve. The numbers for tanks in operational units are lower in every case). However, the majority of Beijing’s tanks are old designs, particularly Type 59 and 69 tanks more or less directly copied from the 50s-era Soviet T-54 tank. Such is their profligacy that I once had the pleasure of bumping into one in a children’s playground in Tianjin serving the needs of the (young) people.